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DOG TICK

DESCRIPTION:
This tick is about 1/8 inch long and is dark brown with an irregular pattern of white markings on the body region behind the head. It has eight legs.

BIOLOGY:
(Dermacentor variabilis) The immature and adult stages of this tick are external parasites of small and large animals. The three immature stages require a blood meal from a different host in order to develop to the adult stage and to lay eggs. This tick can transmit Rocky Mtn. Spotted fever.

SOLUTION:
Keep vegetation cut low to discourage small animal (rabbits, field mice, voles) populations; use repellents on clothing when walking in areas infested with ticks. Liquid and granular insecticides applied in the spring may provide some control.







CARPET BEETLE

DESCRIPTION:
The adult carpet beetle is small (about 1/8 inch long), and has a varied color pattern. The larvae are about ¼ inch long, light brown and with long brown hairs extending from the sides and tail end. Irregular holes in carpets, blankets, and clothing is caused by the larval feeding.

BIOLOGY:
(Attagenus spp.) The larvae of carpet beetles feed on products of animal origin, including wool, leather, and fur. The larvae of some species feed on stored food. Adults usually live outdoors and feed on the nectar and pollen of plants. The larvae may require 2-3 months to complete development and during this time may shed their skin several times. They may move around the house seeking new feeding sites.

SOLUTION:
Clothing and carpeting that can be damaged by carpet beetles should be cleaned regularly, and wool and leather clothing stored in sealed containers when not in use. Regular cleaning of closets and storage areas will help to reduce infestations. Cedar chests and closets may not be effective in eliminating these beetles.







IDENTIFY YOUR ENEMY

Coptotermes, alate
Also known as swarmers, these winged Formosan termites are larger than other native subterranean termites. They measure about one half inch and their bodies are pale yellow-brown in color. The wings are also pale in color and are densely covered with tiny hairs. Alates or swarmers participate in a process known as swarming on warm humid evenings in the early spring.This behavior ensures the establishment of new colonies. They are attracted to light during the swarm.

Coptotermes, soldier
Formosan soldiers are distinctive in that they have an oval-shaped head rather than an elongated one like other native subterraneans. Formosans are much more aggressive than other native termites. They can be found some 500 feet from the colony. Their sole purpose in life, to defend the colony.

Heterotermes, soldier
Heterotermes soldiers have rectangular shaped heads and the soldier's length is one and a half times its width. Soldiers also have mandibles and a fontanelle or frontal gland pore. Heterotermes, alate Heterotermes alates or swarmers have dark brown bodies, almost black in color and measure approximately three-eighths of an inch which includes their wings. A frontal gland or fontanelle is present but may be inconspicuous. Their wings are translucent yet have two dark veins.

Reticulitermes, alate
This swarmer measures three-eighths of an inch, which includes its wings. Their bodies are dark brown and have dark brownish-gray wings with a few visible hairs. The front wings are slightly larger than the hind wings.

Reticulitermes, nymph
Nymphs will subsequently transform into workers, soldiers or winged reproductives. Nymphs, along with workers, also tend and care for the young.

Reticulitermes, secondary
Secondaries play a critical role in the maintenance and rapid increase of a colony's population and help expand the foraging territory of existing colonies by creating secondary colonies. They vary in appearance, yet are larger than nymphs or workers and are often times darker.

Reticulitermes, soldier
These termites are yellowish-brown and have rectangular shaped heads that are wider in the front for defense purposes. The head is equipped with two very large jaws or mandibles. Soldiers also have a fontanelle or frontal gland pore. Their head length is nearly two times their width.

Reticulitermes, worker
Workers are blind, sterile and wingless. Yet, they are the most encountered and most destructive. They are soft-bodied, creamy-white in color and have hard, powerful mouth-parts that adapt for chewing. Workers measure one-quarter inch and are responsible for most of the labor of the colony and must care for the young.







WINGED ANT OR TERMITE

Ants

  • Elbowed antennae
  • Three distinct body segments with a slim waist
  • Front wings longer than back ones
  • Various sizes

Termites
  • Straight antennae
  • No "waistline"
  • Wings long and of equal length
  • Usually only about 1/8" in length








KNOW YOUR PEST PROBLEM

Here are a few pests to help identify your pest problems....







COCKROACH

Among the best-known pest species are the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, which is about 30 millimetres (1.2 in) long. Cockroaches are insects that have lived on Earth for more than 320 million years. There are more than 3,500 different species, or types, of cockroach. Most live in forests in warm areas. However, some cockroaches live in warm, dark areas of houses, apartment and office buildings, airplanes, and ships. Cockroaches are among the most hated household pests.The cockroach is considered one of the most obnoxious of household pests. This brown or black insect can be found in houses, apartment and office buildings, ships, trains, and airplanes in many parts of the world. Domestic cockroaches, which are also called roaches, have a disagreeable odor. They live in warm, dark areas. Their broad, flat bodies permit them to crawl in narrow cracks and along pipes. They hide in the daytime, coming out at night to feed. The diet of the cockroach, which includes both plant and animal products, ranges from food, paper, clothing, and books to dead insects. Although cockroaches can be difficult to eliminate entirely, a variety of common poisons and traps are effective in controlling their numbers. Cockroaches are believed to be able to transmit several different human diseases.

BIOLOGY:
(order Blattodea)Cockroaches are among the most prolific insects in the world. Their rapid reproduction is one of the reasons why a single pregnant cockroach carried home in a grocery bag really can explode into a major infestation in almost no time at all.

A German cockroach in an average environment, with sufficient food, warmth, moisture, and harborage, lives for about three or four months, on average. During this time, a female will produce 4 to 6 oothecae, with each ootheca containing between 30 and 40 eggs. This makes for an average reproductive potential of between 120 - 240 live offspring during her lifetime.

German cockroach nymphs reach sexual maturity in about 8 to 12 weeks under favorable conditions. So factoring in the reproductive potential of her offspring, a single female German cockroach (or even a single ootheca) brought into a home can swell to an infestation of hundreds or thousands of roaches in the course of a year.

SOLUTION:
Inspect sacks, cartons and boxes, etc., brought into the house, and destroy any roaches. Sanitation is critical in roach control. Clean up spilled foods and liquids, avoid leaving scraps of food on unwashed dishes and counter tops, keep food in tightly sealed containers, rinse cans and bottles before putting them in trash and transfer garbage outdoors into roach-proof receptacles.

There are a variety of do-it-yourself options for killing cockroaches. Some of the more well regarded of these are listed below. Try one at a time, or try them all.

  • Make "Roach Food":
  • One part powdered (not granular) boric acid (sometimes sold as a roach-killing powder, but often available in pharmacies (for making anti-pinkeye eyewash)-
  • One part white flour.
  • One part granulated white sugar-
  • The sugar baits it, the flour makes it stick, and the boric acid kills them. Place in the backs of drawers and cabinets, under refrigerator, stove, etc. Expect at least 3 cycles of disappearance/reemergence of progressively smaller hordes of cockroaches, lasting about 2 weeks each. Continue using boric acid till roaches are gone.








RATS

DESCRIPTION:

Most rodents are small, weighing 150g (5.0oz) or less.There are only a few large species of which the largest, the capybara, may weigh up to 66kg (146lb). All rodents have characteristic teeth, including a single pair of razor-sharp incisors. With these teeth the rodent can gnaw through the toughest of husks, pods and shells. Rat bites, particularly in urban areas, may be a serious health problem. Rat bites develop rat-bite fever, a bacterial disease carried in the teeth and gums of many rats. Rats can spread Salmonella food poisoning, Weils disease (leptospirosis), trichinosis, and other diseases directly through contamination of food and water with their urine and feces.

Indirect effects. Rats may indirectly spread a number of serious human diseases by way of fleas and mites, most notably plague and murine (scrub) typhus fever. Some of the diseases can be fatal to humans.

Rabies. Rats have never been found to be infected with rabies in nature, and rabies transmission has never been documented in the United States. The United States Public Health Service recommends against anti-rabies treatment in the case of rat bite.

BIOLOGY:

The name "rodent" comes from the Latin rodere, which means to gnaw. Gnawing is facilitated by a sizable gap, called the diastema, immediately behind the incisors, into which the lips can be drawn, so sealing off the mouth from inedible fragments dislodged by the incisors. Rodents have no canine teeth, but they do possess a substantial battery of molar teeth by which all food is finely ground. Convoluted layers of enamel traverse these often massive and complexly structured teeth. The pattern made by these layers is often of taxonomic significance. Rats breed at any time during the year, but more frequently in warm months. Gestation lasts 22-24 days. The size of the litter is usually 8-10 pups. There are 3-4 litters per year. Lifespan in the wild is usually about 6 months.

SOLUTION:

The snap trap is an effective method of killing rats when used correctly. Traps are especially useful when you wish to avoid the use of poisons, to eliminate bait shy or bait resistant rats, to avoid odors from dead rats in inaccessible places, or to collect live rats for ectoparasite or resistance screening. The best traps are those with expanded triggers (treadles) set for a light touch. Set the traps along runways with the trigger towards the wall, or tie the traps to pipes or rafters or wherever droppings, gnawing, grease marks, and other evidence of activity is found. The number one mistake in using traps is not using enough. (See Environmental Protection Agency [1991] for information on trapping).

Glue Boards: Glue boards are used much like snap traps. Secure the glue board with a nail or wire so it can't be dragged away. Be aware that some people may protest the use of glue boards as inhumane, since the rat may struggle for some time.

Tracking powders: These are rodenticides mixed with a talc or powdery clay and applied into areas where rats live and travel. The powder sticks to the rats' feet and fur and is swallowed when the rats groom themselves. Tracking powders are effective even where food and water are plentiful. The rodenticide in tracking powders is 5 to 40 times more concentrated than in baits. Avoid applying tracking powder where the powder could become airborne and drift into nontarget areas, or where other nontarget animals may come in contact with it.

Fumigants: Several fumigants are available for burrow fumigation. Most are extremely hazardous and should only be used by experienced professionals. National Park Service policy for rat management emphasizes rodent-proofing rather than the use of rodenticides. Consult your regional Integrated Pest Management coordinator when considering their use.







FLIES

DISCRIPTION:

Biting flies feed on blood, attacking humans and other mammals as food sources. They are capable of transferring disease through these feeding habits. There are many species of biting flies, each with its own habits and ecology.

Sand flies are biting flies commonly found near the coast. Adult sand flies measure only 1/16-inch in length and are capable of fitting through fine, mesh screens. They breed in salt marsh areas. Larvae thrive in mud and can sometimes be seen swimming freely in infested waters. Larval sand flies pupate at the water's edge or on floating sticks and leaves. Biting sand flies are susceptible to air currents and emerge most commonly on still days.

Black flies are most active during the day and are often found near moving water. They will feed on humans and animals.

Due to their large size and the intensity of their bite, horse flies are often considered the worst species of biting fly. They, too, are deterred by strong winds.

BIOlOGY:

The head of the fly contains the eyes, antennae and mouthparts. The common housefly liquefies food with its saliva before the upper and lower lip, or labrum and labium, are used in a sponging, mopping capacity. The antennae provide flies with their primary source of smell and are located above the labrum and labium. The housefly's compound eyes are some of the most complex of the insect world, allowing them to see a full 360-degrees. This makes flies difficult to surprise or swat.

Flies have a pair of fully developed wings on the thorax, and knobby, vestigial halteres that are used primarily for balance. The fly's six legs also connect to the thorax and are made of five segments. The housefly has a hard exoskeleton that protects it from moisture loss. Houseflies use the hairs on their bodies to taste and to smell.

SOLUTION:

# Clean up all pet and animal feces promptly. Any fresh, moist animal feces will draw flies. To keep flies from breeding in your dog's doo-doo, either bury it immediately or use a pooper scooper and plastic bag to remove and seal the feces. Place the bagged waste in a lidded garbage can.

# Dispose of kitchen scraps and other organic waste properly. When it comes to food waste, the drier the better. Drain any moisture you can from it before throwing it away. Scrape your plates or other leftovers into a plastic garbage bag, tie the bag shut, and put it in a garbage can with a tight fighting lid.

# If you save kitchen waste for your compost heap, add some sawdust to your scrap bin to help absorb moisture and odors that might attract flies. If your compost pile does not heat up sufficiently, those kitchen scraps may attract breeding flies. Turn your compost pile regularly, and don't put meats or animal waste in your compost bin.

# Garbage cans and dumpsters are favorite breeding areas for flies. You can significantly reduce fly populations by keeping lids tightly closed on your trash cans, and making sure the cans have no holes. All garbage within the can should be bagged and tied closed. Don't forget to put your garbage out for collection regularly. It's not a bad idea to scrub out your cans now and then, to remove any food or pet waste residue.

# Rinse empty soda cans, beer bottles, and pet food cans before tossing them in the recycling. If possible, use a lidded recycling container.

# If you have fruit trees in your yard, pick up any fruit that falls on the ground. Fermenting or overripe fruit provides just the right combination of moist and sweet to attract flies.

# Indoors, take care not to overwater your houseplants. Prune and discard of any dying plant parts. Fungus gnat larvae feed on fungi that develops in moist soils and on decaying plant matter.







MOSQUITOES

DISCRIPTION:

There are more than 2,700 species of mosquitoes in the world, and there are 13 mosquito genera (plural for "genus") that live in the United States. Of these genera, most mosquitoes belong to three:

* Aedes - These are sometimes called "floodwater" mosquitoes because flooding is important for their eggs to hatch. Aedes mosquitoes have abdomens with pointed tips. They include such species as the yellow-fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). They are strong fliers, capable of travelling great distances (up to 75 miles/121 km) from their breeding sites. They persistently bite mammals (especially humans), mainly at dawn and in the early evening. Their bites are painful.

* Anopheles - These tend to breed in bodies of permanent fresh water. Anopheles mosquitoes also have abdomens with pointed tips. They include several species, such as the common malaria mosquito (Anopheles quadrimaculatus), that can spread malaria to humans.

* Culex - These tend to breed in quiet, standing water. Culex mosquitoes have abdomens with blunt tips. They include several species such as the northern house mosquito (Culex pipiens). They are weak fliers and tend to live for only a few weeks during the summer months. They persistently bite (preferring birds over humans) and attack at dawn or after dusk. Their bite is painful.

BIOLOGY:

Mosquitoes go through four stages in their life-cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult . Adult females lay their eggs in standing water, which can be a salt-marsh, a lake, a puddle, a natural reservoir on a plant, or an artificial water container such as a plastic bucket. The first three stages are aquatic and last 5–14 days, depending on the species and the ambient temperature; eggs hatch to become larvae, then pupae. The adult mosquito emerges from the pupa as it floats at the water surface. Adults live for 4–8 weeks

DISEASES:

Mosquitoes can carry many types of diseases that are caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses. These diseases include:

* Malaria - It is caused by a parasite that is transmitted by an Anopheles mosquito. The parasite grows in your bloodstream and can produce symptoms that develop anywhere from six to eight days to several months after infection.The symptoms include fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches and general malaise (similar to flu symptoms). Malaria is a severe disease that can be fatal, but can be treated with antimalarial drugs. Malaria is prevalent in tropical or sub-tropical climates.

* Yellow Fever - Yellow fever no longer occurs in the United States or Europe, but it is prevalent in Africa and parts of South America. It is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Yellow fever produces symptoms similar to malaria, but also includes nausea, vomiting and jaundice. Like malaria, yellow fever can be fatal. There is no treatment for the disease itself, only the symptoms. Yellow fever can be controlled by vaccination and mosquito control.

* Encephalitis - It is caused by viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes ¬such as the Aedes mosquitoes or Culiseta mosquitoes. The symptoms of encephalitis include high fever, stiff neck, headache, confusion and laziness/sleepiness. There are several types of encephalitis that can be transmitted by mosquitoes, including St. Louis, Western equine etc.

* Dengue Fever - It is transmitted by the Asian tiger mosquito, which is native to East Asia and was found in the United States in 1985. It is also transmitted by Aedes aegypti in the tropics. Dengue fever is caused by a virus that produces a range of illnesses, from viral flu to hemorrhagic fever. It is especially dangerous for children














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